Picks and Pans Review: Hot Tamale Baby

updated 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 04/14/1986 AT 01:00 AM EST

Marcia Ball

Like most of the great blues singers, Ball has a throaty, penetrating voice and a style that manages to combine suggestions of romance, sorrow and defiance. Why she is still primarily a regional performer in Louisiana and Texas is something of a mystery. True, she is not the flamboyant howler that Janis Joplin was, and her backup band might-be flashier. She is still an aggressive and moving performer of Memphis style R&B who ought to be far more widely appreciated. This, her third album, includes such memorable tracks as a pounding version of Never Like This Before (by the Memphis triumvirate of Booker T. Jones, Isaac Hayes and David Porter), her own melancholy Love's Spell and the title tune, by Cajun veteran Clifton Chenier. In the past she has sounded more like a bluesy country singer. On this LP she sounds like a slightly countrified blues singer. Either way, she is a treat. (Rounder)

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